There were no normal classes for me today. Instead, a little culture excursion was on the menu. Usually these excursions are done later in the semester but there weren't a lot of options for the winter excursion so that's why it happened so quickly in the semester.
In a way I think it was good because it gave an opportunity to talk to classmates and get to know some of them, which is sure to make classes better.
I headed out early, and there was snow outside. Most of the snow that fallen during the night had been removed by the time I headed outside, yet still there was a little left, and it was nice to see. Somehow the cold doesn't feel as bad when there is snow all around.
Our excursion brought us to a traditional house called Korea House where we were going to paint some Korean masks called "Tal". Everyone took it very seriously, painting with such concentration, and there were so many beautiful masks to show for it.
Afterwards our class went to drink something warm, and I sat and talked with three classmates, respectively from Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan, and got to know them better. We laughed a lot and I think we will have fun conversations in the future too.
I think about this every single time I talk to someone from my class, but it's SO lovely to finally be at a level of Korean where everyone can communicate perfectly well in Korean. I remember how difficult it was for me last time when I was in first level because my speaking skills and listening skills were pretty advanced but I couldn't communicate properly with my classmates because the learning level was so low (I still learnt lots though).
After the class excursion ended some people went home while others, myself included, went to school to sign up for extra curricular clubs. I signed up for the Volunteering Work club. There were six different voluntary activities that one could choose between. Some of them were only for high level students though as conversation in Korean was required.
I initially wanted to sign up for voluntary work to help the elderly use their hands and do hobbies, like arranging flowers and folding origami, but so many people wanted to do that, so I volunteered for something else.
Now first there is probably one thing you need to know about me: I have an entirely irrational fear of children. I have a beautiful and sweet niece though and since I knew that I would get a niece I've made lots of efforts to overcome this annoying irrational fear, but, as with most irrational fears, it doesn't always work out.
What I ended up volunteering for is to go into a class of elementary school students here on campus (it's a university but they also have a kindergarten, elementary school and middle school on campus that both men and women can attend). I will have to present my country to the students there (aged about 6-8 years old), and come of with some traditional games and things to play with them. Suggestions about what information to include about Denmark (other than Vikings, duh), and what traditional Danish games to play are more than welcome!
I have to go there twice, in two different classrooms together with two other girls and a teacher, and we have a few meetings before to prepare our presentations. I think it'll be a good opportunity both to work on that irrational fear, but also to use my Korean skills.
After signing up for the club, I headed over to Ewha's cafeteria where my roommate was eating with some friends, and grabbed a quick meal, and then went back home, and spent about four hours doing my homework and trying to learn my vocabulary (we have a vocabulary test coming up).
It has been a busy day, but on the good side, just before the sun set, snow fell again and it was very pretty. I think I will get to see a lot more snow over the next few months. Perhaps so much that I will be tired off it when the new year comes, but for now I still get excited like a little kid whenever I see the snow flakes fall.